Enter Jim Inhofe
BY World's Editorial Writers
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Evacuating Tar Creek will be his legacy
Getting innocent people out of harm's
way at Tar Creek is clearly the job of the
That's the sort of mission for which
the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and its Superfund were created.
But after years of work, the mess left
by decades of lead and zinc mining by
now-gone companies remains, and so
are the endangered people.
Pollution and the danger of collapsing
mines made the Tar Creek area around
Picher and Cardin toxic and treacherous.
Enter Jim Inhofe.
Inhofe specified a plan to take care of
the Tar Creek residents in the Water Resources Development Act last year.
The EPA unveiled the plan Friday, but
make no mistake, the work was Inhofe's,
not that of the Washington bureaucrats.
Hold the phone. That's an earmark.
That's just the sort of sweetheart, local-constituency pork that some politicians
say is ruining the federal government.
Apparently, they would rather wait for
the EPA to get around to solving the
problem on its own without any congressional leadership.
That would have been a wait that
might never have ended, a wait that certainly would have meant more lives ruined by the Tar Creek disaster.
Inhofe wasn't waiting. He acted in the
best interests of his constituents and the
state. His leadership will mean children
will live in a safe, clean environment.
That's a proud legacy for him to take
with him when he leaves public office.
Those other folks would rather be
right -- as defined by their own peculiar
meaning of that word -- than help their